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Happy Jen, her blue album…and her not-so-happy cat

I’m still on my buy-one-vinyl-a-fortnight thing, and Jen Cloher’s 2017 self-titled album is my latest purchase. The vinyl itself is a really cool, pale-blue colour, which was just a little bit exciting to discover. However, I’m not here just to talk about the colour of the album! (Does anyone else do this fortnightly-purchase thing? It’s so great to have a little pay-day treat, you know?)

Can I just say, I think Jen Cloher is pretty bloody fabulous. She’s so consistently good, and is such an interesting performer to watch. I’ve seen her perform a few times, the latest being at Golden Plains 2018 (in the tiny township of Meredith, near Geelong). I really could not look away! Her lyrics are poetic, intelligent and, as mentioned in one review, often sparse. However, sometimes less is more, and I think that idea really does work well in many of Cloher’s songs.

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Jen playing at Golden Plains 2018

There are so many strong tracks on this album that I honestly can’t pick just one favourite. However, I’d probably have to say that Forgot Myself is in the running. Have a read of the lyrics below; pretty wonderful! She describes the whole situation of loving someone and the feeling of worry and loneliness that often goes along with that so well. I also love the way she describes the everyday items (‘piles of books/Patti Smith poems/a hair tie/some vitamins’) that reveal insights into your loved one’s personality.

Forgot Myself

You’d been gone so long you could have been dead
Piles of books you bought but never read
Paint a still life of your side of the bed
Patti Smith poems, a hair tie, and some vitamins
There’s only so much you can say in a text
Reading between the lines is hazardous
A slow reply can really mess with your head
I was feelin’ kinda free
Now I’m desperate

Oh god I forgot myself
Oh god I forgot my health
I seen it coming but it’s too late now
Oh god, oh god, I forgot myself

[Verse 2]
I was shooting for a different score
My head, my heart, the way, the open door
Like a fly up against the window
The open sky, so close, I’ll never know
See my reflection staring back in the glass
I’m getting older
I know, that things don’t last
For all the time I spend worrying
Most things they never happen

Oh god I forgot myself
Oh god I forgot my health
I seen it coming but it’s too late now
Oh god, oh god, I forgot myself

[Verse 3]
You’re riding round the world
You’re doing this and you’re signing that
The facts are that you’re there and I’m here
When you’re gone too long I become an idea
I’m driving in my car
Your song comes on the radio
And I remember what I always forget

So, if you’re a fan of Jen Cloher, what do you think of this album? And, if you’re not familiar with this Aussie musician, I highly recommend having a listen to her work!

Thanks for reading!